smart spending

7 effective ways you can tackle high fees

Keep a paper trail, including email and online chat
Keep a paper trail, including email and online chat © docent/Shutterstock.com

"Since phone calls often fall into a black hole of 'he said, she said,' consider a written complaint to start a paper trail," Breyault says.

If you called to complain, follow up with an email or certified letter sent with a return receipt because it's your proof that the company received your complaint. Always keep copies of the bill or statement containing the disputed high fees along with any other documentation in order.

Another new way to keep a written complaint trail is to engage in the company's online chat function. If you are stonewalled by a customer service agent trained to follow a script and don't get your problem solved, ask for a supervisor. Always print a transcript for your files.

Getting help

Make sure any complaints contain the following information for the best result.

  • An exact description of the dispute.
  • What was said and not said, and what was done.
  • What you expect as a reasonable resolution to your problem.

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